The Story Behind The Iconic Photo Known Simply As “The Kiss.”

On August 14th, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced to the world that Japan had surrendered, effectively putting an end to World War II. For the 70 years that followed, America has been captivated by a photo that truly encompassed the feeling of that day; a photo known simply as “The Kiss.” Taken by renowned photographer Albert Eisenstaedt, the photo shows a sailor passionately kissing a nurse in Times Square, in celebration of the good news. For years people wondered who the mysterious kissing couple was, and though many have claimed to be either the sailor or the nurse, compelling evidence has recently come to light, and it tells quite the fascinating story!

From Youtube / CBS This Morning

From Youtube / CBS This Morning

While their identities have never actually been confirmed, solid evidence shows that the sailor and the nurse from the photo are George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman. Mendonsa recalls that he was actually out on a date with another woman when the photo was taken (you can actually see her face in one of the four photos Eisenstaedt snapped that day). His date actually ended up being his wife, and they’re still married! 

In the following clip from CBS This Morning, you’ll get the full story from Mendonsa and Friedman, and you’ll hear from Mendonsa’s wife, Rita. She clearly has a good sense of humor about the situation!

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Gustav Wilhelm was born and raised on the fishing vessel, the Plucky Pinniped. Like his parents, Gustav spent much of his life at sea, reading a weathered copy of A Farewell to Arms, curating his magnificent beard, and as one might expect, fishing. After a particularly violent ocean storm left Gustav marooned on a deserted island, he befriended a pair of penguin chicks – Sidney and Evgeni – who took up residence in his luscious beard. Adapting to his new terrestrial life, Gustav took up blogging with hope of one day returning to the sea.